Lesson for the Lord’s Day

Wherein in time past, ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience. Ephesians 2:2

What’s wrong with walking according to the course of this world? After all, everybody seems to be walking that way; it’s popular and doesn’t involve any conviction or motivation. But for the Christian, the course of this world is dangerous and sorrowful, and devoid of all spiritual benefit. There are many ways in which this is the wrong course for us; let us examine a few of them.

The course of this world is a course of darkness. The light of the Word of God cannot illuminate this course because this dark course is directly opposite to that which God desires. It opposes the light of the glorious Gospel of Christ that desires to shine into souls, that they might be saved. We can sing about sending ‘the light, the blessed Gospel light’, and the devil doesn’t mind, as long as we don’t actually send it. Letting the world remain in darkness is the course of this world.

The course of this world is also a course of human wisdom. We read that the world by wisdom knows not God (1 Corinthians 1:21). The world’s wisdom rejects God and rejects all restraint against sin. Surely this is no course for the child of God! What possible concord can we have with those who deny the existence of the very God Who made them, and who blatantly promote unbridled evil in all its forms?

The course of this world is also a course of disobedience. Our text speaks of the children of disobedience, motivated and activated by the devil. Disobedience is the course of this world, and everything in the life of an unbeliever is disobedience to the Word of God. In contrast, the believer is enabled by the Holy Spirit to obey the Word of God and is motivated by the love of Christ to obey his Lord. Jesus tells us, ‘If ye love me, keep my commandments’ (John 14:15).

The course of this world is also a course of conformity. This world pushes everybody to conform to the same clothing styles, the same political views, the same eating habits, and just about everything else you can name. Teenagers are so pushed by conformity and peer pressure that they will commit suicide if they are unable to keep up. As the world’s morality plunges to new lows, it drags everyone it can along with it. But the Christian is admonished not to be conformed to this world but to be transformed by the renewing of your mind (Romans 12:2. It may not be popular and it may not always be pleasant, but the Christian who shuns the course of conformity can be assured of his Lord’s commendation.

May we long to be like Paul, who, at his journey’s end, could speak with confidence of finishing his course, rejoicing in the knowledge that it was not the course of this world. -Jim MacIntosh

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